Hickenlooper Family Stories

TODO For ease of reading/finding, the stories here should be split up into separates pages or discarded if they duplicate already existing content. -- Kyle

Compiled for the Henry Lewis Jensen — Florence Hickenlooper Family Reunion of July 7, 2006.

Jean Bergen Ohai, July 2006

12 July 2006, Florence Hickenlooper Jensen’s Flower Garden added

13 July 2006, Florence Hickenlooper Jensen’s Preliminaries to a Fried Chicken Dinner added

From Aunt Jean:

This is for the great grandchildren and the great-great grandchildren.

I loved my grandparents and I loved my uncles and aunts. I hope that you great grandchildren and the great-great grandchildren will love them, too.

Family stories are powerful. We grew up with many of them and I collected or searched for the rest of them. Some are funny, some are sad, and all are interesting. All will help you get acquainted with your family and know those who came before you. Tell them to your children.

However, because we have so many wonderful stories, you will almost have an unfair advantage. Encourage your children to discover the stories on the other side of their family. Some of them are old enough to start writing down the stories they gather. One story in here is my 1947 Pioneer Day talk that Grandpa Jensen dictated to me. I still have the original in my own childish handwriting.

The serious genealogy, the extensive documents, photos, and annotated PAF files will be on the Reunion 2006 CD-ROM. But we have included a bit for you now. For each story, see how each person is related to you on your Jensen-Hickenlooper pedigree chart.

Grandma Florence Hickenlooper Jensen

Grandpa Hickenlooper Returns from the Mission Field

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Grandma Florence Hickenlooper Jensen

How Not to Teach Children about Service (as told to Aunt Jessie)

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Grandma Florence Hickenlooper Jensen

What Happened When Someone Died Before There Were Funeral Homes (as told to Aunt Jessie)

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Grandma Florence Hickenlooper Jensen

The First Cars (as told to Aunt Jessie)

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Grandma Florence Hickenlooper Jensen

When the Children Were Born(as told to Aunt Jessie)

[Yes, some of these stories are sad.]

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Grandma Florence Hickenlooper Jensen

Her Flower Garden (list given to Jean Bergen Ohai by Jessie Jensen Behunin 23 July 1991)

Grandma Jensen had an old-fashioned flower garden south of the house and the front lawn. When we were all up on the Oregon coast the summer of 1991, I asked Aunt Jessie to tell me all the flowers that Grandma had growing in her garden. This is the list:

peonies poppies flags canterbury bells coreopsis tulips day lilies bleeding hearts hollyhocks snapdragons yellow roses (climbing) snowballs bridal wreath firebush lilacs (white and purple) mock orange flowering quince striped grass

Grandma Florence Hickenlooper Jensen

Preliminaries to a Fried Chicken Dinner (Jean Bergen Ohai)

Grandma made good fried chicken, but it was something of a treat. You could probably buy a chicken at the butcher’s counter in the 1940s, but she did it the old-fashioned way – from scratch. Grandpa and Grandma kept chickens for eggs and she was the one who would go down to the barnyard to feed them and collect the eggs. An old hen that was past her laying prime was good mostly for the stewpot. It took a young, tender chicken to make a good fryer: the pullets would produce eggs, so the young roosters that were big enough to eat but useless, of course, for laying eggs were nominated for protein.

First there was an expedition down to the henhouse where the victim would be selected, sometimes not without a little chase. The chicken would be carried by its legs back up to the house. On the north side of the driveway from the front porch was an old stump. I don’t remember whether the hatchet was embedded in the top of the stump or whether it was kept in the garage, but it was the means of execution. Grandma would put the chicken’s neck across the stump and with a swift blow of the hatchet separate the chicken from its head. Then the chicken was released to run around the driveway spurting blood until it collapsed. So I do know what running around like a chicken with its head cut off looks like – lots of action and excitement, but to no purpose. It was fascinating.

The chicken was then taken into the kitchen where a big pot of water would be simmering on top of the old Monarch range. The chicken was dipped into the scalding water to loosen its feathers.(I can testify that wet feathers don’t have a pleasant smell.) Then the chicken was plucked, the feathers coming off in clumps down to the pin feathers, but sometimes you needed pliers or tweezers to get out some of the stubborn ones. Working at the sin, Grandma would cut the chicken open and remove the insides. The heart, liver, and gizzard were set aside. Opening the gizzard was tricky. If you cut just right you could remove the sac inside it in one piece. I watched this part carefully because the gizzard was my favorite part, next to the drumsticks. The chicken was washed and the feet cut off. Then the chicken was cut up and dried for frying.

The chicken parts were dredged in seasoned flour and fried in a big cast iron pan called, appropriately enough, a chicken frier. I don’t remember whether it was fried in lard or not, but it definitely wouldn’t be recommended for your arteries.

Grandma usually served fried chicken with chicken gravy and mashed potatoes and whatever vegetable from her kitchen garden that was in season. I can still see fried chicken coming around the table in the dining room while I hoped there was a drumstick left for me. But it was a treat to get the breast with the wishbone. Whoever got the wishbone could offer one end to someone else. Both would pull at the same time and when it broke, whoever held the biggest end got a wish. Sometimes Grandpa didn’t pull as hard as he might have and so I got to make a wish.

Grandpa Charles Andrew Hickenlooper

The Hickenlooper Household (from A sketch of the life of Charles Andrew Hickenlooper as told to his daughter Della)

“My father’s family consisted of father [William Haney Hickenlooper] and his three wives: Sarah Hawkins . . .and their children. . .John Thomas, Belinda, and Jane; Sarah Cordelia Ward . . . and their children, William Caleb and Rebecca; my mother, Ann Ham, and her children Orson, Rachel, Olive, myself, and a younger brother George. Father built an adobe house at 446 South 2nd West, just one-half block south of Pioneer Park. [The houselot is between Western Nut and Zion’s Printing.] As the family grew, he enlarged it and Aunty [Sarah Ward Hickenlooper] lived there until she died in 1913 at the age of ninety-one. The house stood until 1930 when it was torn down. We all lived in the same house and ate at the same table. We all loved and respected each other and lived in harmony and peace. I never knew of a cross word to pass between father and his wives. The first wife died when I was four years old.

“Each family of saints was allowed to take up five acres of land of what was known as the “Big Field in the Sugar House district [Hickenlooper land was about 19th South and 1100 East] and the saints could also homestead land on the Jordan River. Here father had sixty acres. When I was about ten years old my father built a house [probably the Church parking lot on 9th West just south of Jordan Park] on the farm where Aunty moved to and [I] lived with her a goodly portion of the time and did the chores and in the summer herded cows. My constant companion was a very faithful and well-trained dog called “Sailor”. I used to ride a pony from the farm to school. I would feed the horse in the barn at the city home and eat my lunch with my mother. She ran the Sixth Ward Co-op store.”

Grandpa Charles Andrew Hickenlooper

The Education of Charley (from A sketch of the life of Charles Andrew Hickenlooper as told to his daughter Della)

“Educational advantages were very meager in those days. Children went to school only a few months in the winter time, after they were old enough to work. Being a quick-tempered mischievous boy, my school days were rather stormy and came to an abrupt end when I was about fourteen years old. Teachers believed that to spare the rod would spoil the child, and they took a great deal of pains to see that I did not spoil. My father believed that if a child got into trouble at school and received a whipping for it from the teacher, he should get another one at home from his parents.

“On this occasion it was some inconsequential thing that started the trouble. I did not happen to be mixed up in it that time, but the teacher thought that I was. Finally the teacher said, “If you didn’t do it, who did?” and I would not tell him. He grabbed his apple-wood stick and gave me the whaling of my life. When I had taken about all I could stand, I suddenly hit him in the nose and kicked his shins. As luck would have it, the back door of the school house was open and I ran out.

“Instead of going to father and mother at the city house, I went right out to the farm to Aunty and told her all about it, and that I would not go back and would not take another licking from father. I asked her to hurry and help me tie up a few clothes, that I had decided to run away from home, and I must go before father got to hear of the trouble and came out there. She tried to talk me out of it but my mind was made up. I had decided to go to Bingham Canyon and work in the mines. They gave good wages, board and bunk, and many of our neighbors and acquaintances had gone out there to work. Aunt Sarah was very sympathetic and logical in her talk, telling me that the Lord had something better in store for me than going in to such rough company and being cut off from my family and home. After arguing and reasoning and I still would not give in, she told me to wait awhile and she would talk with father before he talked with me. At last I consented to do that.

“We had talked so long that we soon saw father coming. Aunty told me to go down by the river in the brush and keep out of his way until she could talk to him. I did, and after he had gone she did not seem to feel right sure that everything would be all right. Father came down to the farm every day for several days but he never could find me. At last he surprised us and walked in one morning while we were eating breakfast. But Aunty and Mother had talked with him and persuaded him not to force me back to school and he had had time to look at it from every angle. So when we met he proffered to get me a job with Mr. Hilton, a friend of his who had a brick yard. Here I worked one year. I have always felt thankful to Aunt Sarah for her diplomacy in handling the situation, and dread to think of what might have happened if I had left home at that time with such bitterness in my heart, to mingle in the rough element of miners.

“Until this time I had paid but little attention to trying to control my temper, and it was getting really alarming to my mother. On one occasion when we were having a heart-to-heart talk, she said, “Charley, my boy, with you it is a word and a blow, but often the blow comes first. I’m really afraid that sometime when you give way to anger as you do, that you will do something you will be sorry for all the rest of your life.” This set me to thinking and from that time on I resolved to do better. In looking back, I regard it as a turning point in my life and many times I have been complimented for the way I was able to control my temper.”

Later his mother, Ann Ham Hickenlooper, decided that Salt Lake was getting a little too wild for her boys. Uncle John Hickenlooper and Belinda Hickenlooper Wade had already settled in North Ogden. When she visited them, she decided that she like the area and that it would be a good place to raise her children. So that is how Grandpa Hickenlooper came from Salt Lake to the area of North Ogden and Pleasant View.

Grandpa Charles Andrew Hickenlooper

The Duties of Deacons (from A sketch of the life of Charles Andrew Hickenlooper as told to his daughter Della)

“When I was a deacon we used to have to do the janitor work in the ward meetinghouse – sweep, dust, make fires, take out ashes and, what seemed the biggest chore of all was filling, trimming the wicks, and polishing the chimneys of the twenty-five lamps that lighted our church. I was second counselor in the Deacons Quorum of the Sixth Ward.”

This was all in addition to passing the emblems of sacrament to the members in sacrament meeting.

Grandpa Charles Andrew Hickenlooper

“I know who you are (from Church Section of the Deseret News, 1 Sep 1934, reprinted recently in the Missionary Moments column)

“While serving a mission in Tennessee in the mid-1890s, C.A. Hickenlooper learned the necessity of placing his trust in his Heavenly Father. And when he did so in faith and humility, the Lord provided for his needs. . .

“Elder Hickenlooper was assigned to work with Elder W. T. Ogden in Murray County. The missionaries were instructed by their mission president to canvas Columbia City, about 35 miles from where two elders were shot in 1884. Elders Hickenlooper and Ogden were the first missionaries back in the area.

“Elder Hickenlooper reported that after they had worked in Columbia City, they moved on to the outlying areas, and finally reached Sawdust, a small town of about 100 families. ‘We were received kindly by the people and obtained permission to hold a meeting in their schoolhouse,” he wrote. But their success was short-lived. Not only did growing animosity toward Mormons cause the elders to lose access to the schoolhouse, but also word spread that every housewife was to promise not to give the elders food or lodging.

“That night a severe thunderstorm struck the area. While standing on the outskirts of town in the storm, the elders realized their predicament, and prayed for direction. Afterward, they felt impressed to follow a road which led to a small house. Upon knocking, the missionaries were greeted by a man, who said, ‘You needn’t spend your time telling me; I know who you are.’

“The elders stood on the step for about 10 minutes, while the man spoke with his wife. He then returned and invited in the missionaries, but he had a hard time believing that no one sent them his way. The elders inquired as to the cause of his disbelief, and he replied that a much-respected community member had tried to obtain his promise to not help the missionaries, but he refused — possibly the only man in town to do so. He told the community member that he had been to Ogden, Utah, and that the Mormons were as fine a people as he had ever met. He told the elders: “I had quite a hard time convincing [my wife] that it would be all right to take you in. She is now in the kitchen preparing something for you to eat.”

“Later that night, Elder Hickenlooper praised his Father in Heaven for His guiding care and protection over the elders.”

Grandpa Charles Andrew Hickenlooper

“Grandpa Hickenlooper as a Storyteller (related by Jessie Jensen to her niece, Jean Bergen)

All the grandchildren loved Grandpa Hickenlooper and he loved them. Aunt Jessie said that he would tell variations of a heart-rending story that went something like this: “A couple who had no children adopted a little orphan boy. But they were very concerned that he be an honest little boy. To test him, they left out breadcrumbs on the window sill at night. When they were gone in the morning, they knew he wasn’t an honest boy. So they had to take him back to the orphanage.”

At this point, the children would protest that it wasn’t fair. Maybe a mouse ate the breadcrumbs, etc. And they were only breadcrumbs, anyway. He’d smile because he knew their hearts. Even his littlest grandchildren knew what was fair and kind and sensible. But they’d always ask him to tell the stories again.

Grandma Medora Blanchard Hickenlooper

Her Pioneer Heritage and Family

Medora Blanchard was born in Springville in 1866. Even though she was born in pioneer times, she was already a fourth-generation member of the Church. Her great-grandmother, Charlotte Rice Thompson, had joined the Church in February of 1832 while living in Central New York State, when there were probably only about 1000 members.

Her grandfather, Asaph Blanchard, had joined the Church in August 1836 when he lived in the county just east of Kirtland. Asaph and his wife Junietta had been married for 15 years and had no children. She was in very poor health and died a few months later. A broken-hearted Asaph sold his farm and went to Kirtland to join the exodus of Mormons from the area. He got as far as Missouri just in time to be “invited” to leave.

Asaph was then called on a mission to Michigan where his parents and some of his sisters and brothers had settled. While he was in the area, he met the tall, elegant Eunice Elizabeth Thompson, the daughter of Charlotte Rice and Thomas A Thompson. While Charlotte was a member of the Church, her husband and children weren’t. When Eunice’s older brother Sherwood heard of the marriage plans between Asaph and Eunice, he wrote her a letter saying, “God forbid that my life should be spared to hear that my dearest friend and only sister should marry a Mormon”– conveniently overlooking the fact that their mother was a Mormon. He also told her, “Read this letter dear sister. Tis the last you will hear from me if you marry the Mormon preacher. Don’t write to me again. You must never expect to see me again for I shall never come to see you nor I don’t want you should come and see me so I must draw to a close bidding you farewell and if you marry as you said I must bid you farewell, a long farewell.” So she married Asaph in January of 1841 and he took care of her parents thereafter. Sherwood was killed by a falling tree not too long afterward.

Their first son was named Alma Moroni. He was talented and had a striking personality and a bad character. But he was charming. He wrote verse and called himself the “Bard of Bonneville.” He married Emma Bocock Law, a very young widow with a small son named Frank. She was a lovely woman, tiny – only about five feet tall – with long dark hair. She was the youngest of three orphaned sisters. The Bocock girls were from a family of devout Methodists and they had received rather good educations for the times, but they also learned hat making and trimming as a trade. After their father’s death, they ran his tollgate and were able to make a living by it when Charles Law came selling tea and preaching the restored gospel. They were converted and wanted to come to Zion and mingle with the Saints. They soon began to make plans to leave England, but they postponed their baptisms until they were actually on their way. They did not want the opposition of their older half-brothers. (Nevertheless, their half-brother, William Winks Bocock, a prosperous glass manufacturer, died childless and left his money to his younger sisters. In Emma’s case, it went to her children.)

The first daughter of Alma Moroni and Emma died as an infant. (Emma had already lost a baby daughter in her first marriage.) Medora was their second daughter. Their next daughter also died as a baby. Then Emma had a son they named Alma Moroni, Jr., then a daughter Jane Elizabeth and another son named Byron. Alma Moroni was a kind of traveling dentist and was gone a lot. (It was in his later life that he undertook he long bicycle safaris.) To make sure there would be enough to feed so many small children, Emma made straw hats and leather shoes for people, who probably paid her with potatoes or flour or garden produce.

When Medora was about seven, her mother Emma died before her last child could be delivered. Knowing she would die, Emma asked only to be buried by her three babies.

Alma Moroni nearly went crazy with grief. Grandmother Eunice Thompson Blanchard took the youngest child Byron and tried to help out with the others. Medora had just turned seven when her mother died and she now was responsible for running the household. She had to cook the beans every day over a sagebrush fire, taking care that the heat was just right and the beans didn’t burn because her father was very particular about his beans.

Then her father remarried. Emily Pierce expected to take over the running of the household, but by then Medora had been running things for several years and the new wife and the girl didn’t see eye to eye. When Grandfather Asaph Blanchard died, Medora’s aunt, Jane Blanchard Ellis, came down to Springville for her father’s funeral. She could see that the home situation wasn’t a good one, and her solution was to invite Medora to come back with her to North Ogden. Aunt Jane was the midwife and she frequently had to leave home for hours at a time when she was called to deliver a baby. Medora would be able to help her out in the home and Medora’s older brother Frank Law offered to pay her school tuition.

Medora’s grandmother, Eunice Thompson Blanchard, had been a schoolteacher. She read a newspaper every day and kept a dictionary next to her reading chair. Whether from her direct teaching or whether it was just the power of example, Medora learned enough eventually to become the assistant teacher in North Ogden.

So that is how Medora came to live in the North Ogden - Pleasant View area.

Grandpa Charles Hickenlooper wrote: “Father sold our farm on Jordan River and bought one in what is now Pleasant View, Weber County, Utah. Mother was anxious to get her boys out of the city, so she sacrificed her comfortable home in Salt Lake City and moved to a one-room log house on a farm in North Ogden. This was in the early spring of 1880 when I was 18. That winter my nephew, Edward W. Wade, was teaching school and I attended a few weeks. . . There were students in those days all the way from beginners to married men with families, trying to take advantage of what schooling there was to be had. The subjects taught were arithmetic, reading, spelling and writing.”

Medora Blanchard taught the beginners in the same schoolroom. They were married three years later.

Grandfather William Haney Hickenlooper

How William Haney Came to Join the Church(from an oral history of Bishop Hickenlooper by his counselor William Thorn, later used as his front- page obituary in the Deseret News and reprinted in Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah)

In the winter of 1838–39 William and family [consisting of his wife Sarah Hawkins and their three children, Jane, Belinda, and John Thomas] were residing in Armstrong county, Pennsylvania.[A]t the time. . .the Latter-day Saints were being so bitterly persecuted in Missouri, rumors were current throughout the country that the “Mormons” were burning and pillaging the houses of the citizens in that State. . .[Many of the Saints who had remained in New York were emigrating to Missouri, going by raft down the Allegheny and Ohio rivers, then traveling up to the gathering place. One of these rafts, containing three families, on its way down, was anchored on the Allegheny river for the night, about two miles from William’s farm. That night it froze so hard that the raft could not be got loose, and the voyagers were compelled to land. (Although many similar rafts passed down during the winter, this was the only one frozen in.)

Elder Freeman Nickerson, or Father Nickerson, as he was familiarly called, was the leader of the detained company, and he at once began to preach the new and everlasting gospel to the people in that vicinity. One day, shortly afterward, William met Father Nickerson at a neighbor’s house and invited him home, being anxious to see a “Mormon,” a real, live Mormon (though he looked very much like an ordinary mortal and appeared to be an intelligent man) and to learn of the principles of “Mormonism,” about which so much was being said, and which many thought was a “Yankee trick.”

Father Nickerson accepted the invitation, and was introduced to William’s wife and mother-in-law [Sarah Griffiths Hawkins] as a Mormon preacher. [William’s] whole family were of the Baptist persuasion [and William was a lay or unordained preacher himself]. Supper was provided, and Father Nickerson consented, by the earnest request of William, to remain all night. When William asked what was the difference between the “Mormons” and other religious sects, the Elder answered, “We believe the Bible: they do not.” William disputed this, but was forced to yield point after point to his opponent throughout a long argument. During the evening the remainder of the family treated the Elder so coldly that William felt ashamed, and when the latter went out late in the evening to attend to some outside chores, Father Nickerson departed, to the great annoyance of his host.

Shortly afterward the Elder called and told William that he was going to preach at a certain time and place, and gave him an invitation to be present His wife [Sarah] objected, however, saying if he went, his horse would fall and he would have his neck broken. The night before the meeting it stormed and the road being so slippery, William decided to stay at home. Again Father Nickerson called, and announced another meeting, and William’s wife, insisting that if he attended she would go with him, they both went. William took his New Testament along, intending to expose every error, but found no use for it; he learned that the Elder was strictly truthful in his statements and correct in his references. . . .

Mrs. Hickenlooper borrowed the Book of Mormon for a week, and William read it through to discover whether it was an imposition. When Elder Nickerson asked what he thought of it, he answered that if he was going to write a fraud he would make it more mysterious; the book was too plain. The Elder replied, “The Lord delights in plainness;” which fact William had to admit.

Mrs. Hickenlooper partially believed the first sermon she heard preached, but her husband had met with a number of impostures, and thought he would be wary. Mrs. Hawkins was at this time severely afflicted with rheumatism, and Father Nickerson, who made another visit to the family, told her if she had faith she could be healed, and after some argument, she began to think of the matter. . . .The next morning Father Nickerson again came to the house, and . . .knelt down with the family and prayed, then laid hands on Mrs. Hawkins, rebuking her sickness in the name of the Lord; the rheumatism immediately left her body, as did also a pain which she had felt for some time in her side. The old lady at once expressed a desire to be baptized. Mrs. Hickenlooper did the same, and William, who had by this time pretty thoroughly investigated the claims put forth, was convinced of the divinity of the message, and the following Sunday was appointed to attend to the ordinance in the Allegheny river, then frozen over. On going down to the river, where they expected to have to cut the ice on Sunday, they found that that very morning the ice had broken, and they, with five others, were baptized.

This was in February, 1839. A branch of the Church numbering about forty members was organized, and William was ordained to the office of an Elder by Elder Freeman Nickerson, March 34, 1839, and was appointed to preside over the branch which shortly increased to about one hundred members.

A few days after this organization, the river opened, and Father Nickerson proceeded with his company.

Grandfather William Haney Hickenlooper

How William Haney Met Joseph Smith(from an oral history of Bishop Hickenlooper by his counselor William Thorn, later used as his front- page obituary in the Deseret News and reprinted in Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah)

In the year 1842, William paid a visit to Nauvoo, purchased a lot [on upper Parley Street at the location of the buildings that were formerly the Nauvoo Motel] , and had a house built on it. Here he first saw the Prophet Joseph Smith. One day the Prophet met him and said, “You’re the man I want to see. I want some money to send up the river for lumber for the Temple.” William loaned the amount desired [said to have been $600], which was all he had with him, and went off wondering how the Prophet knew he had any money. [The story was that he had money pinned to his underwear from the sale of some of his land in Pennsylvania.] Some of the People tried to discourage him, saying he would never get it back, but it was returned according to agreement.

[Grandpa Charles Hickenlooper told a version of this story at the 1930 Hickenlooper Family Reunion, but over the years it had “improved” in the telling. This is as William Haney told it.]

Grandfather William Haney Hickenlooper

What William Haney Wrote to his Daughter Jane Who Joined the Strangites(from a letter published in the Northern Islander, Saint James, Beaver Island, Lake Michigan, v. 5 no. 8, Thursday, Aug. 16, 1855. Reply by Samuel Stratton Thornton published with it. Contains an account of William’s experience hearing both Sydney Rigdon and Brigham Young speak.)

G.S.L. City, U,T [sic], May 25, ?55


I received your letter, dated March 15th, from Canada. I was glad to hear of your health and that of your family. We had not heard from you for some three years, not knowing how to account for it, for we had written frequently to you, but when we received your letter, the mystery was solved. Stephen [Thornton] and Horace [Thornton] also received letters from you.

But let me assure you we were no little astonished at the strange course you have taken. I should not have given credit to the report had it come in some other way.—But, strange to say; how it is that the different spirits operant on individuals. One is induced to believe [James J.] Strang, another Baneemy [Charles Blanchard Thompson, banimi—Heb. ‘My children’], another Gladden Bishop, another [Sidney] Rigdon, and another [James] Brewster. These all have their votaries, all firm in the different faiths, all zealous in their own way, all serving God according to their different faiths, views and opinions.

Now here comes the question—are all right, or are some wrong? If all are right, let us travel on, and make the best of life we can, with as little persecution as possible, and get into a good country where the good things of this world abound in rich abundance. But reflections pass through my mind something like these: Shall I be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease, whilst others fought to win the prize, and sailed the cloudy seas?

If I am not much mistaken the saints have got to pass through narrow places, where the priests will have to stand between the porch and the altar, and say, Lord, spare thy people, and give not thy heritage to the heathen. What the views of Mr. Strang are in regard to this matter I have not been informed, neither am I acquainted with the general views of doctrine advanced by the Strangites.

You stated that you was just as willing that brother James should be a prophet as brother Young. For my own part I am willing to receive him whom the Lord has set apart to lead this people. The question would now arise who that person is, among all the prophets. For my part, as I am a follower of Brigham, I shall advocate his authority to the Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The first evidence I received that Brigham was the true successor of Joseph, was on the day when Sidney set up his claim for the Presidency. Brigham’s countenance, his voice, jestures [sic] and everything truly represented the martyred prophet in such a striking manner I shall never forget. I was convinced by the spirit of the Lord that the mantle of Joseph had fallen on Brigham.

From that day to this I have all the time seen undisputable evidence of the course that church has taken is pleasing in the sight of the Lord. I have had every opportunity to see the course President Young has taken for a number of years. I know him to be a man of God. He has taken every possible way to promote the interest of this people. He is kind, merciful and forbearing, when there is any hopes of reformation. His course has ever been steadfast. The confidential friend of Joseph and the man Joseph did place in charge to guide the church, and to carry out the measures and designs contemplated by Joseph.

I have the testimony of mother Smith, while in private converse with Joseph and the Twelve. Now, said he, I am going to take my rest for a while, and I now place upon your shoulders the responsibility of bearing off the kingdom. Little did I think, said she, he was going to be martyred. She closed her remarks by bursting into tears.

I have no doubt but you feel honest in your opinion, but honesty may not always prove a man right. Many of the sectarians are honest as we are in their religion, but their sincerity will not save them.

Do not be offended when I show you the rock on which you ran aground. You recollect the word went out by Benson and Grant for the saints to gather to the Valley, en mass [sic]. This you did not comply with, which you might have done. Remember that the disobedience of one commandment will pave the way for a false spirit to enter. When once entered it will lead to every wrong imagination, and it is not easy to discern the difference. Satan is ingenious. He will come with many truths. Were it not so, no one would believe him. Paul said: Many spirits are gone out into the world, therefore try them. Now if they were easily discerned there would be no need to try them, for it would be visible to every one.

You cited us to the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. All who have come out since the beginning have dealt largely on the Book of Covenants, the Book of Mormon, Bible, &c. All these are good, but the spirit of God is ahead of all of them; it is continual progression, hence the stream is never as high as the fountain.

The valley of the mountains is the place for the people of God to gather to, where the house of the Lord is to be raised in the tops of the mountains, where all nations are to gather to. This is truly the chambers where the people are to be hid in when the overflowing scourge shall pass. Our strength is the mountain of rocks.

According to the signs of the times the calamities have commenced. War, famine and pestilence have begun to make their appearance in various parts of the world. Remember that the day is not far distant when war will be poured out upon all nations, and our own beloved land will be deluged in blood, and he that will not take up his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion. Therefore I would advise and exhort you to tarry not in all the plain, lest sudden destruction await you.

I would like to write many things to you, but I cannot do it in one letter. I would like to give you a description of the country, &c. The valleys are rich and very productive. It is far superior to Illinois or Missouri for wheat, and corn grows well. Potatoes are raised in any quantity. There is also abundance of fish. The public work is rapidly progressing. Every one seems willing to pay their tithing. The work is rolling on with rapidity. The elders are in almost all parts of the earth, gathering out the honest in heart. Truly the fig tree begins to show forth the signs of our redemption. When you see these things, lift up your head and rejoice.

Sarah [Cordelia Ward], my second wife, has two daughters. One is 27 months old [Susanna Angeline, b. 16 Feb 1853, d. 2 Nov 1855], the other 3 months [Sarah Cordelia, b. 24 Nov 1856, d. 4 Aug 1855]. Mother [Sarah Hawkins] knows no difference between Sarah’s children and her own.

I want you to write to us as soon as you receive this. Speak freely. You are speaking to your friends; those who feel for your present and eternal welfare. Look well to who you follow, lest sorrow should overtake you when you think not. We were in great expectation of seeing you and family this fall, but how uncertain are all earthly expectations. My prayer to God is that you may return. Mother wishes to hear what Jane’s testimony was to convince her of the truth of Strangism. Please write. Send me something on doctrine, and everything else you can think of that will be interesting to us. I should like to get one of your papers [Northern Islander?] now and then. My family all send their love to you.

Yours in the gospel,


James J. Strang was assassinated the following year. Jane and Samuel eventually came to Utah and were even living in Pleasant View in 1880. They later removed to Idaho.

Grandfather William Haney Hickenlooper

What Brigham Young Said about William Haney (from Brigham Young Office Journals—Exceprts, 1853–62)

In the evening Pres[ident] D.H. Wells came in and the President mentioned to him that a petition had come in praying for the removal of B[isho]p Winters. Pres[ident] Young said it would be well to send a letter to Bp. Winters requesting him to resign his B[isho]prick, and then inform B[isho]p Hickenlooper to take charge of the 5th Ward was well as his own [Sixth Ward]. The President remarked that B[isho]p Hickenlooper was a very judicious kind man, and B[isho]p. Winters was a good man but had a disposition to pick a little too much at those he did not like.

Grandmother Ann Ham Hickenlooper

How She Fell in Love, Joined the Church, and Left Her Lover (from The Life Story of Ann Ham Hickenlooper by Della H. Barker)

When Ann Ham was a teenager, it was necessary for her to earn her own living. She had been raised by her grandfather, a widower and retired agricultural laborer. Her mother, Sarah Ham Rowell, was living in Chesterton, Cambridgeshire with her husband and her Rowell children. Ann secured a position as a housemaid working for a woman of independent means who lived in a three-story townhouse in Honiton, Devonshire, only a few miles from Ann’s birthplace in Dunkeswell.

“At the age of 24, she began keeping company with a very promising young student [named Edmund Kerby]. Their friendship ripened into love and they were to be married when he graduated from school. … He obtained a very good position as school teacher, and preparations were under way for their marriage when she went to visit her uncle in Birmingham.

“Upon arriving at her uncle’s place, she was informed that they were investigating Mormonism and that a Mormon elder would be visiting them that evening. She was horrified to hear this and said she would not meet him and was sorry that she had come to visit her relatives. After considerable persuasion, she consented to see him but said she would put him to the test of the scriptures—which she did, and to her great amazement, she found that he not only taught the Bible more plainly than any minister she had ever listened to, but was so fair and liberal in his views that her opinion was entirely changed.

“He gave her a very pressing invitation to attend their meeting the next evening. She attended the meeting, and the Spirit of the Lord was there in such rich abundance in singing, speaking, and prayer that she went away from the meeting feeling that she had found the truth. She made it a matter of prayer for divine guidance and was so thoroughly convinced of the truthfulness of Mormonism that she applied for baptism and was baptized 3 March 1854 by this same elder, Parley Burrows.

“When she returned to her home in Devonshire and to her sweetheart she felt sure he would accept the light that was so plain to her. They had read and studied the scriptures together many times and until now, they had understood them the same. She thought that with his education that all she would need to do would be to explain the gospel to him, and he could see it as she had done. When she told him that she had embraced the new religion, she was very much grieved at his attitude, first that of sorrow, then censure followed by ridicule.

“After much pleading, he finally consented to attend one of the testimony meetings. She offered a fervent prayer that someone might be led to speak in tongues as a sign to him. Her prayer was answered and the interpretation of tongues was to the effect that it had come in answer to the prayer of a young sister who had made great sacrifices to accept the truth and that the Lord was well-pleased with her. And this gave her great comfort and satisfaction. When they left the meeting, she felt humiliated at his attitude. She told him that the talk in tongues was a direct answer to her prayer, and he replied that he had never had so much desire to laugh in church in his life before as he did at that time.

“The wedding was postponed until they could come to a better understanding. From this time on, he used all the persuasion and sophistry at his command to induce her to marry, promising that he would never put a straw in her way, that she should worship as she chose, but the spirit of gathering, which is one of the many signs of the gospel in this dispensation, had taken such a firm hold upon her, that she could not think of marrying and remaining there.

“During the next two years [one year, actually] she tried to get him to see the light. She finally decided that she must come to America. He then made her the offer that if she would remain in England where he might see her, that the money he had saved for them to be married with should be used to buy a little shop and set her up in business in millinery and dressmaking. She felt that she could not do this and he urged her, saying that it was through his great love for her that he had saved the money, and he could never touch it, as it was hers.

“She made a confidant of the elder who had baptized her and told him of this offer that had been made. He advised her to tell her lover that it would require about twenty pounds to take her to Zion, and that if he felt like giving her that much, it would be greatly appreciated as she was determined to go.

“He was overcome with grief but said, “Ann, little did I think that my money would take you thousands of miles from me, but if that is your desire, you shall have it.” She made preparations to leave at once. She expected on leaving to call where he was teaching school to bid him a last farewell, but being advised by the elder to stay with the saints and go directly to Liverpool with the company, she did not see him again .. . .

“They sailed from Liverpool Easter Sunday, 23 March l856, on the ship Enoch Train [There is a scale model of the Enoch Train at the Church Museum of History and Art] with Elder James Ferguson in charge of the Saints. Every morning and evening, the trumpet sounded and they all assembled for prayer. There were three children born and blessed during the voyage. Grandmother was seasick quite a portion of the time. They arrived in Boston 1 May l856—a six-week journey.

“During the year 1856, Iowa City, Iowa was the outfitting place for the emigrants to cross the plains and mountains. She traveled as a member of Captain Ellsworth’s handcart company which left there 9 June 1856. She and a girl companion, Hannah Baldwin, who had traveled with her ever since she left Devonshire, put their belongings together, and Hannah pushed the handcart and Grandma had a little sick girl to carry a good part of the way until they reached Florence, Nebraska where the child died of consumption.

“From there on they pushed the handcart together. She speaks in her journal of the many beautiful camping grounds they had, of gathering strawberries, of the broken handcarts that had to be repaired, and the storms they were in. She also speaks of many deaths, some from consumption and whooping cough and other diseases.

“She also mentions many times of writing to and thinking a good deal of her grandfather and Edmund, her lover. And she says in her journal, “O Lord, my heart is fixed to do Thy will and to keep Thy commandments and Thou knowest it, comfort me, therefore, wherein Thou seest my soul is troubled.”

“They would walk from seven to twenty-six miles a day. At night the band would play. They would gather together, sing songs, dance, and have prayer. She speaks one day of walking eleven miles without water. At the Platte River there was a terrible thunderstorm. The lightning struck one of the tents and when the storm was over, they found one man dead and four injured. Some places the sand was very heavy and hard to walk through. And when they had to ford streams, the men carried the women and children over in their arms.

“They were short of food. And when they met some brethren going east on missions, the elders divided their potatoes, cheese, etc. with the emigrants, and they felt thankful their lives were saved. They were rationed with food, each receiving a pint of flour a day. And with this, this would make three small cakes of bread, one to eat at each meal.

“Sometimes they would have buffalo meat. When they were on the Laramie plains, their supply of salt was exhausted. They were unable to eat the meat with relish without salt, but they were forced through hunger to eat it, and it made many of them sick. At one time Grandma and her companion found where some soldiers had fed their horses corn, they gathered up every kernel which they washed and cooked. And they relished it very much.

“They camped 25 September at Little Mountain and the next morning a wagon from Salt Lake City brought them their breakfast. President Young and the band, many ladies on horseback, and many others came to meet them. As they came out of Emigration Canyon, in full view of the city, she said her heart sank within her when she saw the barren waste of land and the alkali flats, and she cried out to the Lord, “Where shall I find me a home?” For she felt that she was a stranger in a strange land. They arrived in Salt Lake City 26 September l856.

Suffering as she had done with the hardships of the long walk across the continent, she was in a very weakened condition, and during the reminder of her life, she never did get back to the health she formerly had. . . .

When she arrived in Salt Lake City, there was a letter waiting for her from her lover in England, telling her that had she come to see him as he expected that she would do, he would have come with her to America, but she was always glad that he did not come as he could not have endured the hardships and privations that those early pioneers were called upon to go through, and she always felt that her acts were inspired to do as she did, because if he had come, he would likely have returned to England and become a bitter enemy, whereas through all their lives they were friendly and kept up a correspondence. Her husband also exchanged a number of letters with him, with the best of feelings.”

In her honor, we can sing “The Handcart Song” with the original words.

Grandmother Ann Ham Hickenlooper

How She Married Bishop Hickenlooper (from The Life Story of Ann Ham Hickenlooper by Della H. Barker)

When Ann Ham finally arrived in Great Salt Lake City 26 September l856, the terminus of the handcart trek was what is now Pioneer Park Bishop William Haney Hickenlooper lived just one-half block south with his two wives, both named Sarah, and their children. His second wife Sarah Ward was expecting a baby and Ann was engaged as a nurse to care for her.

When Sarah’s baby was delivered and she was able to take care of herself, Ann’s services were no longer needed. In November at a meeting with Bishop Hickenlooper and his wives, they told her that they could no longer pay her, but that if she was willing to marry the bishop, they would be happy to have her as a sister wife. Essentially, she had been chosen by the first two wives. Naturally, they wanted to have a say in the matter and they wouldn’t want someone young and frivolous.

Ann was very much struck by this proposal. The choice was difficult for she was still in love with another man. She determined to pray about the matter that night, but the only place she was able to find that offered any privacy was the outhouse. So that is where she petitioned the Lord for guidance. The answer must have been favorable for she was soon became the third wife of Bishop Hickenlooper, with the consent and encouragement of his other two wives. It was perhaps not a love match at first, but it was always a marriage of mutual respect and kindness.

“For nine years the three women lived together in peace in the same house and ate at the same table. This condition continued until the death of the first wife, Sarah Hawkins Hickenlooper, who died of pneumonia. The other two women lived together as sisters, Grandma [Ann] with four children and Aunty [Sarah Ward] with two. They all grew up as one family. Aunty buried two other children in infancy and Grandma one.

“The pioneers were still very poor, money and provisions being very scarce. In discussing what they might do to help support the family, Aunty suggested that she would attend to the children and do the housework so that my grandmother might have her time free to do needle work, dressmaking, millinery, etc. By this means and cooperation they were able to help materially with the food and clothing of the family, as she would take anything they could use in exchange for her work. As the children grew up and became old enough they were put to work at anything they could do to help with the maintenance of the family.”

Aunty was very fond of Ann’s son, Grandpa Charles Hickenlooper, and he loved her, too. She was able to talk with him when he would have been deaf to what his own parents would have to say.